"There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit." - President Ronald Reagan.

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Friday, May 31, 2019

Dancers From Zuni Pueblo

Above, a dancer from the Zuni Pueblo. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

To close out the month, I headed back into Gallup this evening to have dinner at Zen Steak and Sushi. Following that, I headed over to the McKinley County Courthouse plaza to take in tonight's Indian dancing.

Tonight, the dancers were from the Zuni Pueblo. Each night, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, the city of Gallup and the Gallup Chamber of Commerce sponsors nightly Indian dancing. Dancers from all tribes take part. The nightly event is free to the public.

Of course, I had my camera with me to take some pictures of the dancers. The dances photographed were the "corn dance" and "rainbow dance".

Here's some of them:

"Godzilla: King of the Monsters" In 3D

Above, yours truly with the "souvenir" 3D glasses.

Just a little while ago, I got back home from the Red Rock 10 Theaters after seeing Godzilla: King of the Monsters. I watched the 3D version.

Since not everyone has seen the movie yet, I will be a nice guy and not post any spoilers. How's that for public service?

Anyway, ahem, I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. If there is an adjective to describe it, I would say spectacular! The monster battles were well done and I don't think there's been this many in a Godzilla movie, Japanese or American, since Godzilla Final Wars.

A few good things that stood out for me:
  1. The 3D was better than I would have expected. I recommend seeing this version.
  2.  Memorial Tributes for Yoshimitsu Banno and Haruo Nakajima at the tail end of the end credits was a classy touch!
  3. The monster designs were top-notch. The tweaking of Godzilla's spines to resemble those of the 1954 Godzilla was a great touch. Rodan looked like the Rodan we all know and love as was King Ghidorah. This Mothra was the best ever. 
  4. Familiar music cues from the Toho series were sprinkled throughout. Another nice touch!
  5. Fully reclining seats! If one is not careful, they can easily nod off to sleep as they are so comfortable!
  6. Clues or "easter eggs" for the next movie. Skull Island references dominated them. Stay for all of the end credits!
Bad things:
  1. Obese mothers with kids have to get up in the middle of the movie with their charges to go to the restroom or the snack bar. Annoying!
Some "critics" complained about the lack of a plot for the human characters. I didn't notice any lack of plot. It was fine to me. One doesn't go to giant monster movies for "a plot", they want gratuitous monster mayhem! That said, fanatical "environmentalist wackos" got a good jab in the plot.

My grade: A.

Warm Weekend

Above, last night at home. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The thunderstorm passed over us and left the area during the evening. By then, I wasn't in the mood to head into Gallup for the nightly Indian dancing at the McKinley County Courthouse square. Instead, I fired up the fire pit and just enjoyed an evening by the fire.

However, I will be heading into Gallup today to see Godzilla: King of the Monsters in 3D. I would hazard a guess that many G-fans will be heading to the theaters today.

Today is supposed to be a lot warmer at around 75°. The warming trend is to continue through the weekend.

The forecast for the weekend by the National Weather Service:

Sunny, with a high near 75. South wind 5 to 10 mph.
Mostly clear, with a low around 44. South wind 5 to 10 mph.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 77. South wind 5 to 15 mph.
Saturday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 44. Southeast wind 5 to 15 mph.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 79. South wind 10 to 15 mph.

Thursday, May 30, 2019


Above, storm clouds moving into the area. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Tonight's plan was to head into Gallup for dinner at Zen Steakhouse & Sushi and, following that, head over to the McKinley County Courthouse square to take in tonight's Indian dancing.

Above, the mesas getting cloud cover. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Well, it looks like those plans have to be scrubbed as we're expected to have thunderstorms this evening, which would probably cancel the Indian dancing anyway. As I am writing this, I've been hearing thunder.

Above, with all the precipitation we've been getting, no wonder this front yard plant is flowering. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Tomorrow will be different. It will be sunny with temperatures into the 70s. Perfect weather to head into Gallup to see Godzilla: King of the Monsters.

The forecast by The Weather Channel:

3:30 PM
Scattered Thunderstorms60°59°
35%ESE 9 mph
4:00 PM
34%ESE 8 mph
5:00 PM
Mostly Cloudy63°63°
29%E 8 mph
6:00 PM
Partly Cloudy63°63°
27%NE 7 mph

Kyoto For Beginners

Above, Kinkaku-ji "Golden Pavilion". Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Anyone visiting Japan for the first time or for those who have never been to Kyoto should make it a point to visit Japan's ancient capital. I've been there twice. 

First, I toured Kyoto with G-TOUR in 2004. Then, I returned there in 2015.

But what should beginners include in their itinerary?

Fortunately, Ryokou Girl has a suggested three-day itinerary for beginners.

They begin with:
Anyone visiting Japan for the first time should go to Kyoto, home to a whopping 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites and one of my favorite cities! This article offers a complete 3-day Kyoto itinerary for first-time visitors taking in all the best sights and experiences. 
So what are you waiting for? Check out my list of things to do in Kyoto for beginners!

To read more, go here

Hogan Tree Planting

Above, Wichita Blue Juniper trees in position for planting. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Instead of heading down to Denny's at the Flying J this morning, I headed a mile up the hill to Greg Lucier's home to see the planting of 15 Wichita Blue Juniper trees at his wife's ceremonial hogan.

Above, the Wichita Blue Juniper trees and the hogan. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The trees, once bigger and fuller, will be a noise block (including drums) for the neighbors when the ceremonies at the hogan take place.

Greg is married to a Navajo lady and the hogan was built for her.

Above, the entrance of the hogan. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The view of the valley below from the hogan is a nice one. There is a 6-acre lot for sale across the street. I don't know what the asking price is.

Above, the workers and the equipment. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The hogan itself is not yet completed. It needs to have insulation, drywall and electrical outlets installed. Then, once all that is completed, a Navajo medicine man will bless the hogan so that it can be used.

Above, inside the hogan. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, the auger drilling holes for the trees. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, the view towards the mesas from the hogan. Photo by Armand Vaquer.
Above, the lot across the street that is for sale. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, the view down Birch Road. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, the hogan from Birch Road. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Rally At The Wall Today

Too bad this is such short notice, I would have attended had I knew about it before now.

Join us for a rally at We the People’s Wall with Brian Kolfage, Kris Kobach, Sheriff Clarke, Angel Families and MORE. 
About this Event 
May 30th American Eagle Brick Company Sunland Park, New Mexico ‘We Build the Wall’ Rally Thursday 4 PM  1000 Brickland Rd, Sunland Park, NM 88063We the People

Rally with Brian Kolfage, Kris Kobach, Sheriff Clarke, Angel Families and MORE.

For more information, go here.


UPDATE (11:28):

The rally has been canceled for today (just postponed) as the site is still an active construction site, it was just announced.

"Godzilla: King of the Monsters" Opens Tomorrow

Tomorrow's the day that Godzilla: King of the Monsters is released to worldwide theaters.

Yesterday, after our regular group coffee gathering in the morning, I headed over to Red Rock 10 Theaters in Gallup, New Mexico to purchase my movie ticket.

Above, the ticket. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

I decided to try the 3D version. I have not seen any 3D movie with the new digital technology, so I figured I'd give it a whirl.

If I am unimpressed (provided the movie is a good one) with 3D, I can always go back to see the standard release.

After buying my ticket, I headed back home on Historic Route 66 until it ended at the Iyanbito on-ramp for the fun of it. 

2018 Tourism Boon For Grand Canyon's Local Economy

Above, Hermit's Rest at the South Rim. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The National Park Service released a report on how much tourism benefited local communities near Grand Canyon National Park in 2018.

It was a whopper of an amount!

KTAR News reported:
PHOENIX — A new report from the National Park Service showed that Grand Canyon tourists contributed more than $1 billion to the local economy in 2018. 
The report, released Tuesday, said that 6.3 million visitors to Grand Canyon National Park spent $947 million in communities near the park. 
The spending supported almost 13,000 local jobs and had a cumulative benefit of $1.2 billion to the local economy last year.

That's a lot of revenue!

To read more, go here

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Yellowstone Employee Injured By Cow Elk

Above, elk in Mammoth Hot Springs Village of Yellowstone. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Since visitors are beginning to flock to Yellowstone National Park, they should be mindful of the dangers of getting too close to wild animals.

A concessionaire employee was injured by a cow elk today.

KBZK News reported:
A Yellowstone National Park concession employee is recovering Wednesday after she was injured by a cow elk at Mammoth Hot Springs. 
A spokeswoman for Yellowstone National Park, Linda Veress, said the incident took place in the developed area of Mammoth at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday. 
The woman was taken to a local hospital by an ambulance, but a park spokesperson declined to comment on her injuries or condition. 
Park officials advise visitors to stay 25 yards away from bison and elk, as elk calves are often bedded near buildings and vehicles.

To read more, go here

Pip Squeak Mayor Trying To Stop Border Wall Construction

A pip squeak mayor is demanding that construction be stopped on a privately funded border wall in New Mexico.

According to Newsweek.com:
The mayor of Sunland Park, New Mexico, has issued a cease-and-desist order to a private group that raised millions to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. 
The wall is being constructed by We Build The Wall, a private organization which began a GoFundMe fundraiser in December 2018 when President Donald Trump faced opposition from Congress in receiving a proposed $5 billion to construct the barrier. 
To date, the group has raised over $22 million of a $1 billion goal, of which the group's leader, Air Force veteran Brian Kolfage, said has been established only because that is the highest monetary allotment that GoFundMe allows for a fundraiser. 
The cease-and-desist order was issued on Tuesday after it was determined that the group did not have the proper permits for construction, city spokesperson Peter Ibardo told The Texas Tribune.

“The city has not provided any permits, it has not approved of the construction that has gone up already. They built the structure without authority or any building permits from the city," Ibardo said. 
Speaking to KTMS, Sunland Park Mayor Javier Perea added that the wall is also in violation of city ordinances that regulate how tall a structure can be. Perea said that the application for construction were never returned to the city by American Eagle Brick. 
The company owns the land where the wall was partially constructed over the Memorial Day weekend, the Tribune said.
Her Royal Highness said this:
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico, also a Democrat, said: “To act as though throwing up a small section of wall on private land does anything to effectively secure our southern border from human and drug trafficking or address the humanitarian needs of the asylum seekers and local communities receiving them — that’s nonsense.”
That's far more than what she's been doing, namely, rolling out the read carpet for illegals.

We cannot allow the pip squeak mayor interfere with the will of the people in this matter. I hope this doesn't become necessary, but we may have to have people go down to Sunland Park to defend the construction crews and the completed sections of wall.

Have gun, will travel!

To read more, go here.

UPDATE (05/30/19):

All issues concerning permits in regard to the city's ordinances have reportedly been resolved. Construction work resumes today after being temporarily halted yesterday.

"Godzilla: King of the Monsters" At Red Rock 10 In Gallup

Finally, Allen Theaters has posted their May 31 movie schedule and Godzilla: King of the Monsters will be playing at the Red Rock 10 Theaters in Gallup.

Red Rock 10 is on the eastern side of Gallup, so I won't have to into town to the theater.

Grand Canyon Star Party June 22-29

Grand Canyon

Remember starry nights at the Grand Canyon with dark sky souvenirs from ShopGrandCanyon.com!

From June 22-29, Grand Canyon National Park visitors and residents will explore famously dark skies during our annual Star Party. Free nightly astronomy programs and telescope viewing will demonstrate the wonders of the night sky for visitors of all ages.

ShopGrandCanyon.com souvenirs feature Grand Canyon's starry nights on mugs, keychains, magnets, water bottles and more.

Can't make the Star Party this year? Plan your visit any time during Grand Canyon National Park's centennial year in 2019 by visiting our Trip Planningsection.

Grand Canyon Dark Sky Wide Mug

Depicting pristine dark skies over Grand Canyon, this solid ceramic mug also features a coyote and an elk in silhouette.

Night Skies of the American Southwest

You'll be dazzled by these full color photographs of starry night skies over public lands such as Grand Canyon, Zion and Arches National Parks.

Constellations Water Bottle

Remember your view of the darkest of night skies at Grand Canyon with this constellation water bottle. It may come in handy as a constellation reference on your next camping trip!
Want to know more about Grand Canyon National Park? Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Need lodging for your Grand Canyon visit? Make reservations at Yavapai Lodge or Trailer Village RV Park at VisitGrandCanyon.com or call 877-404-4614.
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